BBC pundit compares Nathan Redmond to Jermain Defoe, praises Puel's genius decision

Southampton's Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring their first goal

Southampton's Nathan Redmond impressed against Watford on Saturday.

Southampton's Nathan Redmond in action with Watford's Valon BehramiSouthampton's Nathan Redmond in action with Watford's Valon Behrami

Pundit Garth Crooks has told BBC Sport that he thinks Southampton could have unearthed a gem in summer signing Nathan Redmond.

Southampton opened up their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home with Watford, as Etienne Capoue's strike from a Troy Deeney knockdown put the Hornets in front.

Southampton's Nathan Redmond scores their first goalSouthampton's Nathan Redmond scores their first goal

The Saints were in control but couldn't break Watford down in Claude Puel's first Premier League game in charge, until new signing Redmond volleyed home after Heurelho Gomes had failed to deal with a corner.

Southampton pushed for a win as Watford went down to ten men following Ben Watson's red card for a foul on Ben Watson, but they couldn't grab the winning goal - but Redmond continued to threaten in a promising league debut performance.

Southampton's Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring their first goalSouthampton's Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring their first goal

Redmond, 22, has been snapped up from relegated Norwich City, and despite playing as a winger for the Canaries and former club Birmingham City, he's had his position switched under his new manager Puel.

The Frenchman helped convert Thierry Henry from a winger to a striker at Monaco, and he's doing the same with Redmond, as the youngster partnered Shane Long in attack - and having scored and looked dangerous throughout, the signs are there that this could be a fruitful move for Puel and Southampton.

Redmond's performance has earned praise from many, and BBC pundit Garth Crooks has raved about his display, even comparing his movement to that of Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe.

Southampton's Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring their first goalSouthampton's Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring their first goal

Crooks added that he felt Puel's decision to switch Redmond's piece was 'pure genius', and thinks Southampton may have unearthed a gem with Redmond, who was signed to replace Liverpool ace Sadio Mane this summer.

"I always felt Redmond never got the credit his football deserved at Norwich," said Crooks. "While it seems that it's taken another foreign manager to bring the best out of an English player, Claude Puel's decision to play Redmond as a striker for Southampton, as opposed to in his perceived best position on the flanks, was pure genius."

"With his right foot, Redmond forced Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes to produce a first-class save. With his left, he scored a fabulous volley, having had a glance to see if he had enough time to make the strike. His movement away from the ball was sensational and reminded me of Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe at his best. If Redmond can cope with the physical demands that come with the new role, then Southampton may have unearthed a gem," he added.

What did you think of Redmond's performance against Watford?

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